Sometimes I see a supremely odd hat and think, “That’s so weird. I should buy it!” A hat that looks like it’s sprouting tentacles or is shaped like a giant seashell. For example, a while back, a hat came up for sale on the Goodwill site that looked like it had a dead bird on it.
I seriously thought about buying it, just because it was so weird. Then, remembering my resolution to wear every hat, I refrained. I have so many hats I love, why buy a hat that I don’t want to wear?
A couple of months ago, I was in a local antique store and came upon a wool hat that looked like half an egg. It was similar to this picture I found on Pinterest.
When I put it on, I looked like I was planning to dress as a hatching chick for Easter.
Once again, its oddity tempted me before I remembered that I would have to wear it. Back it went on the display rack.
Besides, I reminded myself, I already had this white organza hat.
I would not have set out to buy this hat. However, it was in an auction lot of Goodwill hats that contained two I was really intrigued by, the Pink Turban Toque and the Lilac Pixie Hat, and one that I was less excited by, but still happy to own, the Brown Tweed Pillbox. This white hat (and another I hope to restore) came with the group.
I see hats of this shape advertised under many different names: casque hat, half hat, Juliette cap, close hat, calot. But my favorite (though less common) name is the eggshell hat, because, well, that’s what it looks like.
It mystifies me that these type of hats were so popular. A spin through Etsy will show you several very similar to this one, in an array of colors. Maybe they were the headwear equivalent of the ugly bridesmaid’s dress. They are mostly in decent condition, perhaps because they were seldom worn—no one wanted to look like an Easter hatchling.
I didn’t either. But I figured if I was going to wear an eggshell on my head, I might as well wear the pie dress too. Though I feared I would feel ridiculous, I didn’t, once the whole outfit was together. It was fun.
Still, I draw the line at a dead bird hat.
Ann Hillesland writes fiction and nonfiction and collects hats. In this blog she vows to wear (not just model, but wear out of the house) every one of her hats, blogging about their histories and their meanings for her.